Summer on your plate – what to cook with zucchini

Whoever has grown their own zucchini in the garden are familiar with the problem – there can be easily an oversupply of these low GI (glycemic index) and very versatile Mediterranean vegetable. And you find them aplenty now in the shops and organic markets. If you have made already too many ratatouilles in your life you may like to try these two of my favorite vegan and super light recipes. They are great when its hot outside and easy to digest food is all you crave: A soup made in literally 10 minutes and some no-flour veggie spaghetti that are done in an equal short time especially if you call a spiralizer your own (get it here when in Dubai). There is a youtube video about how to make the spaghetti too, thanks to the awesome collaboration with Dubai Holding Wellness. We filmed this sequence at Madinat Jumeirah Resort in Dubai.

On another note: We are taking up our cooking classes here in Dubai very soon again. Stay tuned! I will be delighted to meet you in person and cook with you more healthy & delicious food.
In the meantime: Enjoy summer and stay healthy. xx Chef Gabi

What to buy for 2 portionsavocado_estragon_veloute

300 g zucchini or rondini (round zucchini)
500 ml vegetable stock or water
Salt, pepper
4 sprigs fresh basil and ½ cup baby spinach
½ garlic clove
Topping:  1 tbsp walnuts or pistachios
¼ celery stick
¼ red bell pepper
½ tomato
1 tsp black cumin seeds
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Photo courtesy Barbara Lutterbeck, who shot this for one of my cookbooks

How to Make it
Steam the zucchini for 3-5 minutes. Blend with water or vegetable stock, basil leaves, spinach and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Dice all the remaining vegetables and braise them in olive oil together with the crushed nuts and cumin seeds to serve on top of the soup.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
This smooth-textured low calorie soup has a delicious fresh taste, a chlorophyll and vitamin packed appetizer, lunch or dinner.
Green food nutrients support healthy blood and circulation. Iron, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B12, pyridoxine and protein are all vital for the formation and maintenance of adequate levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells. In addition, chlorophyll, vitamin K, and calcium are all involved in blood clot formation and breakdown.

Chlorophyll helps to gently cleanse the body, balance pH levels, promote good digestion and fight free radicals. Active enzymes help digestion, promote energy production and support metabolism. Antioxidants support the immune system, healthy aging and cardiovascular function.

The benefit of the regular intake of chlorophyll rich food is increased energy levels, improved digestion, enhanced mental acuity, and better looking hair, skin and nails.

What to Buy for 2 portions
600 g zucchini
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 thyme sprig
salt and pepper to taste

1large red bell pepper
1 tomato
1 onion
½ Teaspoon arrowroot

How to Make it
Wash and clean the zucchini and slice it into spaghetti size strips using a mandolin slicer or vegetable spiral cutter.
In a large saucepan, heat one inch of water until it boils. Add in the garlic and the thyme with the zucchini.  Toss for max 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with sauces or cheese to your liking.
For the sauce steam all ingredients, blend with a little bit of water and pass through a fine sieve. Liquidize the arrowroot in 2 tablespoons cold water and add to the sauce, boil for a minute to bind the liquid gently.  Season with salt and pepper.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
This is an amazing, surprising and truly worth trying recipe if you love dishes that require pasta– here is the low carb and quick to make alternative!

Another recipe using zucchini raw can be found here. Enjoy!

Summer Treat with Zucchini the Arabian Way

It was lovely being home in Bavaria, with some rainy days, cool air and the impressive nature scenery I grew up with. As you could see I indulged extensively in my favorite mushroom hunting, and all culinary experience related to it. It was just wonderful.  Now I am already a couple of days back to Dubai, with everyday sunshine, sand, sea and a still very warm summer! No question my food reflects on the weather …..
Try my middle eastern inspired squash recipe, glutenfree, vegan, light and very summer! (taken from one of my cookbooks, Ludwig Verlag Germany, also the image) 

Basmati Rice and Pomegranate stuffed Rondini
4 Portions

What to buy
8 rondini (or optional small zucchini)
200 gr brown Basmati rice
500 ml vegetable stock
1 onion
20 g pistachios
1 organic orange
5 g agave syrup
10 ml olive oil
1 g saffron
1 pomegranate
1 bunch dill
1 bunch spring onions

How to Make It
Wash the orange and grate some of the skin off. Press the juice. Peel the onion and dice it finely.Wash the dill and the spring onions, pat dry and cut finely. Open and clean the pomegranate. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and add the basmati rice. Cover and simmer on low temperature for around 15 – 20 minutes. Prepare the rondini or zucchini to be filled: Cut a lid off and scrape out the inside with a small spoon. Steam the rondini or zucchini until semi soft for around 3 minutes. Braise the onions in olive oil and agave syrup until golden. Add the orange juice, skin and saffron. Season the rice with this mixture and some salt. Add dill, spring onions and pistachios. Spoon the stuffing into the rondini and keep warm until you serve them.

Chef Gabi’s Tip
Zucchini bring summer on our plates –   they are easy to prepare and taste just great when temperatures outside are still high. Zucchini and all summer squashes are hydrating, very low in calories, and easy to digest. They contain a significant amount of vitamin A, potassium, manganese and folate.